YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (CBS13) – With the weekend just a day away, several visitors headed to camp in Yosemite found themselves turned around due to the Detwiler Fire.
“It was all of sudden, out of nowhere, just plumes of smoke on the side of the mountain, just completely a blanket of smoked orange, the sun was blocked,” said Demiah Bik. “It was kind of apocalyptic.”
Bik made the drive from Roseville to Yosemite on Monday night with her family. As she approached the park, she quickly learned that thousands of acres were burning in the nearby Detwiler Fire.
“It was like it was raining ash,” she described. “It completely took us by surprise! The car was covered in just a white blanket of ash.”
The next day, her husband Cody Bik made the same trip to meet the family at Yosemite.
“I ignored the signs that said the roads were closed and just said, ‘I’ll try it, I’ll see if I can get through,’” Bik said.
But he couldn’t and he had to backtrack nearly 40 miles to find an alternate route into the park.
“I thought, ‘I’ve got to get in there no matter what,’” Bik said. “If I have to evacuate them, I’m the man of the family, so I got to do the job!”
Thursday morning, firefighters noticed the flames shifting towards Yosemite. But 20 miles east of Mariposa, the tourists in the park say they hardly noticed signs of a fire nearby at all.
“It’s definitely devastating to think of [this fire] wiping this area out because it is gorgeous,” Cody Bik said.